Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My father has refused to provide for us since we were born, would beat and strangle our mom, and neglected us. My sisters wanted school supplies during an outing, and he got angry, screaming at them and the salesperson. My sister made a rude comment, and he disowned her and the rest of the siblings, except me, because I never stood up to him.
How can I keep ties with someone who is content watching us struggle for our necessities and abuses us? Can I send him an Eid Mubarak text twice a year? He treats us horribly, we walk on eggshells before asking for anything, and I don’t think he’ll change. My mom says he only broke ties because he didn’t want to provide for us.
I empathize with your pain and suffering, and I pray that you heal from this toxic relationship.
The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, quoted Allah Almighty Himself to have said, “Truly, I have made it forbidden on Myself to wrong anyone; and I have made it severely forbidden for you! So do not oppress each other!” [Muslim]
What you describe is not permissible in Islam, contrary to the Sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), and your father needs to repent for his behavior. It may be that he was hurt like this in the past and is just repeating the cycle of violence and abuse he experienced. I pray that he heals as well.
Turn to Allah
The best tool you can use for dealing with your father’s infringement of your rights is patience and supplication. Turn to Allah by being the best Muslim you can be, pray on time, read Quran daily and learn about the life of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Pray the prayer of need and ask Allah to help you achieve goodness to your father without undergoing harm and abuse from him. Ask Allah to make you self-sufficient and to send you a better means of livelihood than what you have obtained from your father.
Allah Most High says, “And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will grant them a way out, and will provide for them in ways unimagined. And whoever places their trust in Allah, then Allah is their sufficiency. Allah’s affair will surely come to pass–and Allah has made a clear decree for everything.” [Quran, 65:2-3]
Also, keep this hadith in mind: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.” [Ibn Maja]
It is permissible to contact him only twice a year for Eid but make the intention to rectify and heal your relationship with him as he calms down and gets older. Eventually, his weakness will overcome him in his old age, and you may find it in your heart to forgive him. Or forgive him now, but limit contact. It is a great blessing that you no longer live with him, and I pray that you can use this distance to be the best you can be without getting too close.
Please see these links for more tips as well:
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.